In addition to being a cancer survivor, Wilson lost his father, Bishop Oscar W. Wilson to prostate cancer in June.
When I was diagnosed I was shocked to learn that prostate cancer is as common for men as breast cancer is for women. I was staggered to learn that the prospects are even worse for African-American men, explains Wilson. I was lucky. Early detection and treatment saved my life. I have my wife, Mahin, to thank for insisting that I get screened.
Since his diagnosis, Wilson has taken his message to all men, building awareness whenever he can. At every performance he talks to audiences about his experience with prostate cancer. He has also taken the awareness message to U.S. troops in the Middle East, having made two performance visits to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait this year.
I’ve spent the majority of my life performing. It’s time for me to now be informing, says Wilson. When Mahin and I learned that the PCF is giving hope to millions of men and their families by supporting research to discover new treatments and a cure for this disease, we knew we had to become involved and support their work.
In appreciation for his outreach and support, the PCF named one of its recent Creativity Research Awards after Wilson. It was granted to Adam Dicker, MD, PhD, at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Dicker is testing a new theory of metastasis that may result in the development of a new therapeutic strategy to stop the spread of prostate cancer cells throughout the body.
We are very fortunate to have Charlie bring this crucial message to the African-American community, a part of our population that bears a disproportionate burden for prostate cancer, said Jonathan W. Simons, president and CEO of the PCF. As a survivor with a family history of prostate cancer, he talks from experience and speaks from the heart.
In addition to providing facts and guidance on prostate cancer for African-Americans, the new Straight Talk guide also features personal thoughts from Wilson’s fellow entertainers, D.L. Hughley and Snoop Dogg. A copy of the guide can be ordered for delivery by mail or downloaded online at www.pcf.org/charliewilson.